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What stung me? (Picture Posted)

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by got4boyz, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. got4boyz

    got4boyz Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Driggs, Idaho, United States
    407
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    While diving in Cozumel this past February I was taking a picture of a big green moray when I felt a sting on my left hand. I looked over and found this plant that I believed stung me. It left rows of welts on my fingers, itched like crazy, swoll up and took forever to go away. Can anyone tell me what it is?

    Thanks!
     
  2. crispos

    crispos Instructor, Scuba

    547
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    That's a stinging hydroid. The welts will disappear after a week and the scars after 2 weeks. Try topical corticosteroids.
     
  3. ScubaRon

    ScubaRon Manta Ray

    577
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    I didn't realize hydroids grew that big (or maybe the picture just makes it look big...), but I think Crispos is right.
     
  4. H2Andy

    H2Andy Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NE Florida
    29,646
    376
    0
    found this plant that I believed stung me

    that's no plant, my friend!! those are in fact animals. they
    are tiny, collaborating individuals that make up a "plant"
    looking colony.

    i unfortunately can't i.d. which one you got a pic of there,
    but i'm pretty sure it is a hydroid, though it could also
    be a gorgonian.

    let's see if Archman drops by. he'll know.

    here's DAN's recommended treatment for hydroid stings:

    After the blisters occur, treat the rash as you would a second-degree (blistering) burn, by keeping the affected area clean, applying a thin application of non-sensitizing topical antiseptic ointment such as mupirocin (Bactroban), and observing for the onset of infection. If the rash becomes incapacitating because of pain or itching, you might want to ask a physician to examine you and determine whether a hypersensitivity (allergic) reaction exists. If so, the physician would most likely treat you with a glucocorticoid (steroid) drug. You could take this type of medication by mouth or by injection - I would not expect a topical steroid cream or ointment to be of any particular benefit, and would not recommend its use, because of the effect of decreased wound healing and possible increase in the chance for infection.

    here's the link:
    http://www.diversalertnetwork.org/medical/faq/faq.asp?faqid=27
     
  5. got4boyz

    got4boyz Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Driggs, Idaho, United States
    407
    0
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    Thanks Crispos and ScubaRon, that is what it is. Someone on the dive boat had told me what they thought is was but I couldn't remember the name. But that is what they told me. Of course it's been two months now so it is gone. Hopefully there won't be another time, but if there is I'll remember the cortisone. LOL

    ScubaRon- After I got stung I saw them growing everywhere in the sand. Most of them were probably about 4 - 6 inches tall but there were some larger ones like this picture. This one was probably a good foot or more tall and wide
     
  6. got4boyz

    got4boyz Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Driggs, Idaho, United States
    407
    0
    0
    Well, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Sponges and corals aren't plants either though they most certainly look like it!

    Thanks for that very interesting bit of info!
     
  7. crispos

    crispos Instructor, Scuba

    547
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    Here is a website on them. Yes both the Hydrozoa and Anthozoa are both classes of Cnidaria, and Zoa is Greek for animal.

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/hydrozoans.htm

    That one I think is the branching hydroid, not sure which species. Most of them have white tipped branches but that one didn't.
     
  8. Charlie99

    Charlie99 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Silicon Valley, CA / New Bedford, MA / Kihei, Maui
    7,966
    158
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    http://www.diversalertnetwork.com/medical/articles/article.asp?articleid=36 is a good article on how to handle various injuries from marine life. Fire coral and hydroids are covered in the section on Jellyfish stings.

    Although not listed by DAN as one of the treatment options, the same Benadryl Gel used for poison oak & poison ivy was more effective than hydrocortisone after my brush with a stinging hydroid.
     
  9. got4boyz

    got4boyz Barracuda

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Driggs, Idaho, United States
    407
    0
    0
    Thanks all for your links.

    The DAN info could come in handy. I should print that and take it with me on future dives.

    The hydrozoan link was interesting too. Didn't know Christmas Tree Worms stung, but I knew they weren't plants! LOL

    While in Florida diving last October there were thousands of these very small "animals" floating through the water that would sting you. You couldn't avoid them because there were so many. I was wearing a shorty so it wasn't too fun. Luckily it wasn't a hard sting, didn't sting for long, and left no welts. They looked like tiny broken off tentacles or something. Any thoughts on what they were?

    All this brought up another question. If all these hydroids look like plants but aren't, are there any plant looking like things in Cozumel that are actually plants????
     
  10. H2Andy

    H2Andy Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NE Florida
    29,646
    376
    0

    hmmmm... well... they sound like sea lice. that's a misnomer.
    they are really the free-floating stage of a bunch of things
    like corals, as well as larval jellyfish, and what not.

    that's my guess without more info :wink:
     

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